Unifying the Judiciary with Multi-Jurisdictional Capabilities
Judges, staff and court administrators across the country often serve multiple counties within a circuit or judicial district. For judges and their staff, they may have cases on calendars in two different counties in the same day or alternate weeks. Meanwhile, court administrators are managing staff and resources across jurisdictions. To complicate matters for the judiciary, the independent clerks in those jurisdictions often have different Case Management Systems (CMS) for managing their cases and documents. With the state requirements and trends turning toward leveraging electronic records over paper files, the judiciary is often faced with learning and using multiple applications to access the same information. Over time this not only creates training challenges, but also creates a barrier to streamlining processes because the different CMS applications don’t look and act the same.
Courts that choose to use their own software solution such as aiSMARTBENCH to access their case files however, are breaking down these barriers by providing a “one-stop-shop” for accessing case and calendar information.
aiSMARTBENCH‘s multi-jurisdictional environment capability enables judges and administrators who serve a circuit or judicial district with multiple jurisdictions to work from a single log-in that connects to all of their independent jurisdictions. For example, one circuit in Florida includes seven counties, 8 separate CMS environments and 2 different CMS solutions. Judges in that circuit are able to access all case and calendar information from one single log-on.
Not only can users log in one time to gain access to all of their court environments but they also have a streamlined user interface regardless of which CMS the clerk’s office chooses to use. Each unique jurisdiction is configured separately to maintain different levels of access, security and configuration as necessary for those courts while users get the same consistent look, feel and performance standards across the board. Further, as the clerk’s office changes solutions or processes over time, the judiciary is less affected by these changes.
The multi-jurisdictional approach is also useful when a single jurisdiction has separate CMS environments for the different court divisions or types. Leveraging aiSMARTBENCH to streamline that environment access is an incredible time-saver for the judiciary and provides a technology framework for court staff that is easy to train because there is consistency across the user group. For example, in one Texas county, there are three separate CMS environments configured; one for each court division (e.g. County, County Court at Law and District). So even though they have one CMS for the clerk’s office for the county, the judges could have been faced with three separate log-ins and three separate environments for each case load if not for the multi-jurisdictional capabilities available with aiSMARTBENCH.